Community Services Staff
The staff of Community Services works directly with the WCPAAA and consists of Lieutenant Ron McMillin, Sargent Steve Fridley, Officer John Jeffries, Crime Prevention Specialists Pierre La Rose and Courtney Gardner and Community Services Aide, Jennifer Kennedy.
Pierre LaRose Crime Prevention Specialist Officer John Jeffries
Courtney Gardner Crime Prevention Specialist
Lt. Ron McMillin
Sargent Steve Fridley
Other staff members within the department are Animal Control Officer Kim Stambaugh, DARE Officer Mark Wojciechowski and School Resource Officers Cory Baker, Adam Dross, Chad Campese and Erin Peachy.
The WCPAAA works in concert with Community Services to provide the needed volunteers for the many programs that serve the community at large. Listed below are just some of the programs that the WCPAAA helps support.
Citizen Police Academy The Citizen Police Academy continues to grow in popularity, and classes are offered in February and August. The Academy is an extension of the Division’s community education efforts.
The purpose of the academy is to increase citizen awareness of the day-to-day operation of the Police Division. Curriculum is designed to educate students on topics relative to the role of the police officer in our community.
Veteran police officers and certified police instructors conduct all instruction for the Academy. The curriculum and teaching methods are similar to the traditional Police Academy, but are not designed to train students as police officers.
The Citizen Police Academy is an opportunity to show how serious our commitment is to the community. It is our hope that graduates of the Citizen Police Academy take their knowledge into the community and educate others when the opportunity arises and make decisions that affect the city and Police Division with heightened awareness and better information. Additionally, graduates become extra eyes and ears to observe and report crimes or suspicious activities throughout our area. After graduating from the Citizen Police Academy graduates may join the Westerville Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association (WCPAAA). See Link below for more information.
Digital Fingerprinting for Children
Fingerprints and current photographs are essential tools in searching for a missing child. This program provides parents with fingerprint cards and photographs of their children in case of emergency. The program is offered year-round to schools, churches, community groups, and businesses.
Self-Defense for Women The Self-Defense for Women course, now in its 12th year, is designed to educate women in our community to reduce their risk of becoming victims of crime. The course is offered five times per year.
Though some portions of the class are physical, the women are mainly taught that if they can simply run, that’s what they should do. However, if running is not an option, a variety of escape techniques are taught. This is not a martial arts course. The course teaches participants to use what is available naturally to them.
The three rules women are taught are: they should react immediately in a dangerous situation, resist an attack, and crime scene two is always worse than crime scene one. Statistics prove that the possibility of physical injury is more likely if a woman allows herself to be moved to another location.
P.A.L.S. (Puppets And Lessons on Safety)
P.A.L.S. was developed as another tool to teach children the importance of safety. Volunteers from the Division and the Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association act as puppeteers. The main character, Officer Ollie, and his friends speak to children on a variety of safety topics. The topics include: 9-1-1, bullies, traffic and pedestrian safety, bike safety, respecting others, strangers, buckling seatbelts, answering the door and telephone, and a host of other topics.
Officer Ollie and his friends have performed at the annual Cops and Kids Day. The puppets also perform for local preschool, kindergarten, second grade classes, and nursing homes.
Safety City More than 350 pre-school children have come to “Safety City” to learn about safety and how to deal with emergencies in their neighborhood. Children ride around miniature streets passing library, school, fire, and police buildings, McDonalds and many other well-known shops. Small road signs and traffic signals are installed. Classes meet everyday of a two-week session with parents attending a graduation on the last day.
Serving Our Seniors Day (S.O.S.)The Westerville Division of Police recognizes the need to educate our senior citizen population about crime prevention. Many seniors are fearful of crime, however, with education their fears can be lessened. There are many simple precautions that can be taken to lessen a person’s chances of being victimized. The Westerville Police will be offering a full day of education for seniors on safety and crime prevention.
National Night Out is an annual event, held the first Tuesday of August. The event is designed to (1) Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; (2) Generate support for local anti-crime programs; (3) Promote neighborhood pride and police-community partnerships; and (4) Send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
Last year’s event was a great success and this year we anticipate the event will be bigger and better. Westerville’s National Night Out event is unique because the venues are hosted by individual neighborhoods. Participating neighborhoods host block parties with activities including: potlucks, karaoke, face painting, raffles, police car rides, and appearances by W.P.D. officers & “Safety Friends” (including PC: The Patrol Car and McGruff the Crime Dog.) For more details, please call (614) 901- 6860.
Cops & Kids Day Cops & Kids Day is designed to provide children of all ages the opportunity to interact with law enforcement officers and to see, touch, and learn about equipment and activities police agencies utilize such as helicopters, cruisers, K-9, mounted patrols, S.W.A.T., bike patrol, D.A.R.E., police and fire dive teams, rescue boats and simulated rescue operations.
Safety forces from around Ohio participate in an effort to interact with the community and show not only the traditional but also the non-traditional aspects of law enforcement. Competitions such as D.A.R.E. car competition, and cruiser competitions, are held throughout the day for the participating agencies.